PEP Review 2006-10
Polyethylene By Basell’s Spherilene Process
Published: October 2006
Basell’s Spherilene process can be used to produce specialty and commodity grades of polyethylene. A single Ziegler-Natta catalyst family can produce the entire product range consisting of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), medium density polyethylene (MDPE), and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Using a single Ziegler-Natta catalyst family decreases product transition penalty especially when the plant is operated as a swing plant. Specialty products such as HDPE with bimodal or broad molecular weight distribution can be produced. To produce the full product range, the polymerization process consists of two gas-phase fluidized bed reactors in series. In this review, the process economics for Basell’s Spherilene process were evaluated. The evaluation was based on a single-line plant capacity of 350,000 mta of bimodal HDPE.